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Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's telephonic conversation with President Mr. George Bush

Abuja, Nigeria
October 15, 2007
(Press Information Bureau)

US President Mr. George Bush called Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and discussed issues relating to the Doha Round and the India US Civil nuclear agreement.

Doha Round issues

• The Prime Minister mentioned to President Bush that India remains committed to the successful conclusion of the Doha Round at an early date. Trade liberalisation has contributed immensely to the growth of the world economy in the last few decades and it is our duty to the global community – like everyone else’s – to ensure that the Doha Round too takes us forward on the path of removing barriers to trade. 

• He said that the draft texts in circulation can be the basis for discussions towards an agreed outcome in Agriculture and Industrial Tariffs (NAMA). Although there are grey areas in the text and specific numbers which need to be agreed upon, the texts give broad indications of the range of possibilities on most issues. 

• He emphasised that India is comfortable with most of the elements of these texts. It is a reasonable compromise between differing positions of various countries. As is true of any trade deal, it involves give and take by all and India is ready to do its share of giving in this regard. 

• The key to the success of the round is agriculture. He, however, emphasized the importance of taking care of the vulnerability of 2/3rd of the population – 650 million people – which dependent on agriculture for sustenance. This meant that India need some degree of protection through Special Products and Safeguards on which we need greater clarity. This is not yet there and this issue is critical for India. 

• India can by and large live with what is on the table and has concerns only on agriculture. We will try to help in reaching a compromise. The Prime Minister said that he would instruct the Commerce Minister to work on these lines. 

• The United States, as the leading economy of the world, can ensure a successful outcome for this round. India will play a contributory and constructive role. 

India-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement 

The Prime Minister also explained to President Bush that certain difficulties have arisen with respect to the operationalisation of the India – US civil nuclear cooperation agreement